Youths to have their own credit union
South Lanarkshire Youth Council (SLYC) and Lanarkshire Credit Union have established the UK’s first‘credit union hub’specifically for young people.
Devised from an idea hatched by members, the hub is a bespoke ‘youth zone’within the Lanarkshire Credit Union where services are tailored and delivered to 16-24 year olds.
At a meeting of the council’s education committee this morning, members fully endorsed the unique project and its aim of improving the financial literacy of 16-24 year olds, while breaking down the barriers that often prevent young people from accessing what is a predominantly older generation service.
Following on from a successful entry to the Money for Life Challenge in 2014 with the Valuable Information Penny savers (VIPs) project, SLYC members sought to learn more from high street banks and financial institutions on how they lend money, specifically to young people. Lanarkshire Credit Union was quick to embrace the idea and invited SLYC members to make suggestions which resulted in the eventual establishment of the hub.
SLYC Members have also signed up to volunteer in the credit union to build their skills and knowledge which they hope to pass on to peers through workshops, open days and other community events.
Councillor Jean McKeown, chair of the education committee said: “The aim of the hub is to positively impact on decisions made by young people by giving them the tools to make reasoned decisions about financial management, understanding the potential impact of borrowing, or getting into an unmanageable cycle of debt.
“This is the first time in the UK that a credit union has worked in partnership with young people with a view to providing specific services aimed at educating them on financial matters, as well as providing a strategic direction about how future products and services would be promoted to young people. It is also the first time a credit union has specifically designed an area where young people can feel comfortable coming in to ask about services.”
Lanarkshire Credit Union Youth hub, if successful, is expected to roll out across Scotland and the rest of the UK.